– Eyeliner, lip liner and color sticks for cosmetics can help you create gorgeous makeup looks, but in order to get the best results from these beauty essentials, you need to keep the tips sharp and at the ready. If you use pencil or crayon liners, having a sharpener in your makeup kit is a must to keep the points perfectly honed. drugstore.com has a variety of sharpeners available. read more about sharpeners » | resource library for makeup »
Makeup sharpeners are very similar to manual pencil sharpeners used for honing the tips of writing implements except they are engineered specifically to function as beauty tools and accessories. You should never try to sharpen a cosmetic pencil in an ordinary manual pencil sharpener or an electric sharpener for writing pencils, as these tools can damage your makeup. Inside of a cosmetic sharpener is a sharp blade that is mounted at an angle. When you insert a pencil and twist, the blade shaves away the covering around the tip of the pencil, allowing more of the cosmetics inside to become visible and usable. The shape of the chamber inside of the sharpener perfects the shape of the tip, so that when you remove the pencil, it is ready for use again.
Types of Sharpeners
Cosmetic sharpeners come in different varieties. One of the biggest ways in which sharpeners differ is in the sizes of the openings of their sharpening chambers. You always want your pencil to slip into the sharpener easily but without too much extra space inside. The pencil should not be able to wiggle excessively inside of the sharpener, but it should be easy to turn. Because pencils for the eyes, lips and face can come in different sizes, many sharpeners are outfitted with large and small chambers, allowing you to sharpen everything with just one tool. Some sharpeners have special plastic chambers for catching shavings as you sharpen to prevent messes, while others just include the sharpening device and require you to collect the shavings on your own.
Sharpening Pencils and Crayons Correctly
Before sharpening your pencil, always clean out the sharpener. Rinse it with water and then towel it dry. You don't want to leave any pigments from a previously sharpened pencil behind, as these could rub off on the tip. When you turn your eyeliner or crayon, do so at a moderate speed. Going too fast can cause the tip to break, but going too slowly will reduce the effectiveness of the blade. If you are sharpening a soft tip crayon, placing it in the freezer first will help you sharpen the tip without breaking it. No matter what type of pencil or crayon you're sharpening; do not push the tip against the back wall of the sharpening chamber. Just exert enough pressure to keep the pencil or crayon inside the sharpener. Keep in mind that some pencils and crayons are self-sharpening and do not require the use of a sharpener. Placing this type of cosmetic product into a sharpener could cause damage.